Fred S. Conte, PhD, the Aquaculture Specialist at UC, Davis and an Advisor with the California Aquaculture Association, has received the 2016 Joseph McCraren award for his outstanding contributions in promoting the growth of aquaculture. This highly prestigious, national award was presented to Dr. Conte at the World Aquaculture Society conference in Las Vegas on February 23, 2016. The McCraren Award, named in honor of Joseph P. McCraren, the first chairman and executive director of the NAA, is the most prestigious honor given by the NAA.
Conte’s contributions to the aquaculture industry are numerous. He has led a productive and highly accomplished career in originating and implementing innovative and sustained programs that have had a positive and lasting impact in advancing the field of aquaculture through knowledge and improved production processes.
Dr. Fred Conte earned a Masters in freshwater aquaculture (Invertebrate ecology) and PhD (marine biology and biological oceanography minor) from Texas A&M University. He is an expert in both saltwater and freshwater aquaculture and an aquaculture extension specialist with the University of California.
Dr. Fred Conte’s professional career in aquaculture was launched at Texas A&M University in 1971 where he was hired as an Extension Mariculture Specialist. At TAMU an extension specialist was assigned to cover saltwater aquaculture. As a result of his versatile background and expertise, he also covered freshwater inquiries on request. He built the Corpus Christi, TAMU Shrimp Mariculture research facility at the Barney Davis Power plant, conducted research on shrimp culture, and managed the facility.
Dr. Conte left TAMU in 1977 to become the first Extension Aquaculture Specialist for the State of California. As the first Aquaculture Specialist for UC Cooperative Extension (Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources) Dr. Conte’s 38-year program covers both freshwater and marine aquaculture. He is one of the few national extension specialists who has dedicated his outreach career in both freshwater and marine aquaculture. Dr. Conte has led a distinguished career and reputation nationally and internationally for 44 years in research, technology transfer and leadership in support of advancing the aquaculture industry. His research now focuses on shellfish sanitation, modeling, and software development.
We congratulate Dr. Conte and thank him for his numerous and extensive contributions to the aquaculture industry.
Michael Lee, Executive Director, California Aquaculture Association